The bright sunny Saturday afternoon that greeted the Hawks C was a welcome break from the previous week’s snow fall that had prevented them from training in preparation for a rematch of the rematch with the Masters 2020. The season series stood at 1-1 so all was to play for in this, the rubber match. The squad fielded by the Hawks for this match had a disparate range of ages where half of the team could have qualified to play for their over 50 opponents and the other half of the team we young enough to be their grandchildren. Predictably the line up had the old guys at the back, the young kids up front with a midfield made up of our middle agers.
The game started brightly for the Hawks. The back line of Foxy, Ed and Alex B (Beck not Bale) was augmented by Wayne De Jong, a natural forward but because of his age, our lack of regular defensemen and Ian making a game time decision not to play was seconded into right back. Despite the lack of playing time together they were able to control a pressing M20 forward line leaving Chad in goal to relax and watch the work of our midfield and forwards. The midfield of Dario, Charlie, Rolf and Ben worked hard to control play and create opportunities for our young forward line. Carter, Kirin, Manvir and Seb were bolstered by the debuts of the twin towers of Alex and Spencer (yes Cedric they are actually twins) whose Father had roused from bed merely 30 minutes before game time.
While Hawks had a majority of possession in the early going, few changes were created by either team until a short corner was awarded to the Hawks. While the short corner broke down the ball did eventually arrive on the stick of Ben Fitch whose flick found the top of the net. Celebrations were cut short however when the goal was disallowed by the umpire at the other end of the pitch for a foot to the disbelief of Ben who swears no foot was involved. Further frustration was afoot when the umpire was overheard at half time saying “I thought I saw a foot before the goal was scored”.
To further exacerbate the Hawks, a few minutes later a defensive error gave the M20’s the lead. An ambitious cross field pass from Rolf was intercepted by the M20 center forward who was one on one with Chad. A week shot was pushed away by the Hawks net minder, but he was adjudged to have used the back of his stick. Despite having his pad down behind the ball, a penalty stoke was awarded which was duly dispatched. An undeserved lead based on the balance of play.
Despite being a goal down the Hawks continued to press. Good work from Manvir resulted in another short corner. This time the corner was executed to perfection with Ben’s drag flick being deflected into the goal by the stick of the M20 goalkeeper. 1-1.
Second half continued as the first finished with Hawks carrying the balance of the play. Ben and Dario in particular were causing problems to the M20 defense, with Dario’s quick dribbles allowing him to drift past the opposition and Ben’s penetrating passing and aerials opening up spaces for the forwards. The pressure was eventually awarded with the Hawks’ second goal. Good work again from Ben on the left eventually led to Charlie receiving the ball at the top of the D, who placed a solid shot in the corner. (at least I think that was what happened as the author of this match report played the whole game as sweeper and did not actually see what happened).
Predictably the M20s turned up the pressure into the 4th quarter and created a number of chances most of which was dealt with by the sold Hawks defensive unit. Unfortunately a broken play led to a bobbling ball across the “D” which was missed by Foxy and swept in by an M20 forward. The game finished 2-2 and the season series all even. The Hawks can feel good about the game played and we look forward to a rematch in the playoffs.
Vomit watch: Dario played most of the game as far as I could tell did throw up.